IoS letters, emails & online postings (6 July 2014)

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The Independent Online

I have seldom encountered a newspaper that manages to face in both directions simultaneously. In the Comment section you publish a perceptive article on the blind disregard of Republicans in the United States towards climate change ("If King Canute had a roads policy", 29 June), and in the New Review you devote five pages to the political longevity of Nigel Lawson much of which is taken up with his absurd views on global warming.

Not only is he disputing the results of more than 200 years of scientific observation, he refuses to accept the conclusions of every major scientific body in the world including the US National Academy of Sciences and our own Royal Society. It is simply untrue to claim that global warming has stopped. Since 1998 there has been a slight slow-down in the rate of warming, but if you compare mean temperature increase by decade then there has been a steady increase since the 1970s. In addition, sea levels are continuing to rise and the ice-caps are melting faster than had been predicted. Lawson's views are scientifically unsustainable, but since he has no scientific qualifications this does not bother him.

Dr Robin Russell-Jones

Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire

In response to Kelly-Marie Blundell (Letters, 29 June) it is a shame that public services are not treated more like factory production lines. If they were, they would be customer focused and effective, rather than target focused and random.

Last year, my mother-in-law was in hospital for three weeks. As someone who does process improvement for a living, watching the nurses was fascinating. The ward layout meant they spent about 40 per cent of their time walking. In no factory would that be OK.

A friend has been going to a small hospital for daily injections for four weeks. He has been given the injection directly, which staff said was quick and easy, and through a drip, which staff said was standard protocol. In no factory production line, would this lack of standardisation be accepted, as it would lead to a high number of quality problems. The most worrying thing is that there is a standard protocol which some nurses feel it is OK to ignore.

Helen Jackson

Belper, Derbyshire

The Trident Commission's headline finding "Britain 'should keep its nuclear deterrent'" is mistaken (29 June). Modernising and proliferating nuclear weapons is out of step with international law and Britain's security needs. In one of its few relevant passages, the Trident Commission concluded that the UK needs to needs to prepare a "glide-path" for reducing its reliance on nuclear weapons. With the Vienna Conference on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons scheduled for 8-9 December, the Commissioners need to work to ensure that Britain takes part in multilateral steps aimed at abolishing nuclear weapons, rather than sticking the UK's head in the sand and pretending that the world has not changed in 30 years.

Councillor Mark Hackett

Chair, UK & Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities, and 10 others

For Joan Smith the roots of Jimmy Savile's crimes can be traced back to Radio Caroline and Radio London, even though he never worked for a pirate radio station (29 June) .

The culture she describes was already covertly present in many mainstream institutions, such as the BBC, as well as manifest in the hit musical Hair, and underground magazines. Pirate stations may have been a symptom of the age, but were certainly not the sole cause of the behaviour she describes.

Dr Alan Bullion

Tunbridge Wells, Kent

DJ Taylor (29 June) is correct in his analysis of middle-class festival culture, but he failed to raise what seems to me to be the more significant question: what does the BBC think it is doing giving blanket coverage and free advertising to Glastonbury and the Hay Festival? There are many festivals, large and small. Glastonbury and Hay may merit a mention in a news item, why do they get so much more than that?

Neil P Confrey

Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire

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